Somerset Care Home Staff Are Suspended

Two staff members at a residential care home in Meare have been suspended amid allegations of abuse.

Pelicans care home in St Mary’s Road was informed of the allegations on Friday by the Commission for Social Care Inspection and the Somerset County Council safeguarding-adults team.

The home is run by Liaise Loddon, an organisation providing care for people with learning and behavioural disabilities, such as autism. The home can accommodate eight people aged under 65 who require a secure environment and help with daily life. It remains open as normal.

It is the second time in a year that abuse allegations have been made against Pelicans.

Liaise Loddon executive director Deborah Cornick said: “It is our understanding that the CSCI and county council had this information several days beforehand and informed the police, who are not pursuing the matter.

“At this time, no further information regarding the allegations has been released to us.

“However, at the request of CSCI and the local safeguarding-adults team, two staff members have been suspended.

“The local safeguarding-adults team will lead the multi-agency investigation and we will work closely with them to ensure the continued safety of the service users.

“The management team at Pelicans and Liaise Loddon take all allegations of abuse seriously. As a company, we support some of the most vulnerable people within our society and feel very strongly that their rights are of paramount importance.”

Three staff members were suspended during a similar investigation last year. When this concluded in December, two returned to work with no disciplinary action.

The third was dismissed on the grounds that he acted outside company guidelines. No criminal charges were brought and he was not added to the Protection of Vulnerable Adults list of care workers who have harmed vulnerable people in their safekeeping. The list is checked by care providers appointing people in positions of trust.

Liaise Loddon, which owns five other homes in Hampshire, said it believed the two sets of allegations were unrelated.

James Hedges of the Commission for Social Care Inspection said: “There will now be an investigation of the home. This will be led by the county council but CSCI will be very much involved.

“Typically, these investigations are carried out through a series of interviews and with people sent to look at the home, but it all depends on the situation.”